CCC: What is copyright law?

The second assignment in the Creative Commons certificate course asks us to develop a short primer on (a lay person’s understanding of) copyright law.

I created a short sliderDING-style presentation, based on Ann Fandrey’s work in Academic Slide Design.

CCC: What is Creative Commons?

Our first assignment for the Creative Commons certificate is due this week. I created a timeline that captures the key events that lead to the foundation of Creative Commons.

Depending upon how the rest of the course goes, I may come back and add to this timeline in the upcoming weeks. This is a start for now.

Annotation tools for online teaching and learning in higher education

This post is a short recap of collaborative annotation tools that I have found to be currently available (as of January 2018) and appear to be suitable for online teaching and learning in higher education. Over the past semesters, I have gradually been incorporating annotation tools in my online courses, starting with text and now branching out to video and audio. I found numerous options, but after reviewing them, many were either out of date and not able to be used, would not easily work for an online class as they required extensive scaffolding for use, or not technically feasible. I also did not want to use anything that would require students to install browser-specific extensions or download software and figure out how to use it, as providing that detailed nature of technical troubleshooting for questions tends to add a lot of complexity that can detract from the course’s learning goals.

Text annotation

    • create private groups for each semester/course
    • can annotate websites or PDF downloads
    • extensive support materials for both instructors and students
    • used this last semester and it worked well – plan to continue using it for current semester
  • Diigo
    • create private groups
    • in addition to text annotation, could also use the group for sharing resources
  • Annotation Studio
    • examples of class use for instructors
    • support for mobile learning is in the works!

Video annotation

  • VideoAnt
    • only works with YouTube videos
  • Reclipped
    • can use as a Chrome browser extension and via bookmarklet
    • supports YouTube, Vimeo, and TED – I use videos from all three platforms in my courses
    • looks to be mobile-friendly…will look into this more
  • Vialogues
    • create group to share annotations (not clear if this is a private group)
    • works with YouTube or Vimeo
    • integrates with Google Drive to timestamp and share notes – not sure if this means that all students in a course could take notes on one shared doc. No documentation available on site to check this out prior to signing up
    • can use videos from YouTube or Vimeo
  • Synote
    • looks like it can be used for video and audio annotation – I requested an account to further explore

Audio annotation

Finding suitable annotation tools for audio has been the most challenging component. I’m looking for a tool that will allow collaborative annotations on a number of podcast platforms (something similar to what the Reclipped tool for video offers, but for audio). I only found one that might work, but if that doesn’t pan out, I may ask students to take notes/summarize in a learning journal…still thinking about how this might work…

  • Soundcloud
    • create private groups
    • further explore: can users’ comments on public tracks be limited to the private group?
  • Annotation Studio is exploring “fine-grained annotation of images, video, and audio,” so that’s another option to keep in mind for the future

Why Open Matters

So it begins

This week wraps up the first week of the Introduction to Open Education MOOC offered through UT-Arlington’s LINK Lab.

One of the reasons why I am taking this course is to connect with others (already saw a fellow MN educator in the group), to compile additional resources for my lit review, and to find out about the fantastic open initiatives taking place all over the world. It will also be fun to blog again 🙂

The first week kicked off with overview videos from the course facilitators, George Siemens and David Wiley. As someone who finds the history of disciplines and academic fields endlessly fascinating, I enjoyed hearing about the genesis of the open movement, which as they note, is in its second decade. Both facilitators shared their stories about how they became interested in and got started with open education. I was familiar with Wiley’s history in terms of being inspired by the open source movement and his work with Lumen Learning. I was less familiar with Siemen’s background – he was part of the first 1:1 laptop programs in higher ed in Canada and views learning as open – as in transparent. When he talked about his current interests with learning analytics and data, this stood out to me:

How we make decisions with that data needs to be as transparent as the content

Additional names mentioned during their conversations include: Stephen Downes, Darcy Norman, Alan Levine, Bryan Alexander, and Dave Cormier. Supplemental resources mentioned include The cathedral and the bazaar and Open education: International perspectives in higher education…and many more in the ‘articles to read’ section.

From there we moved through a series of videos about why open matters: from the perspectives of librarians, students, Paul Bond, Bryan Mathers, and Stephen Downes! What I particularly appreciated about his video was his emphasis on people: “it’s not about what you do with stuff, it’s about what you did with each other.”

At this point, I am starting to wonder about other voices in this space….and then we came to the link to Jenny Mackness’ post. I echo her comments about this course, in that we collectively engage in “a critical approach, encourage diverse perspectives and be willing to surface and challenge assumptions.”

Personal project management software: Asana and Wrike comparison

Write something....

Now that I am nearing the end of my coursework, I’m turning to plotting out the schedule for exams and the dissertation writing process.

I have been using two types of project management software for personal use, both with a free account, during the month of August. Below are my thoughts about each of the two platforms.



  • visual interface is clean-looking
  • ability to sync tasks and due dates with Google Calendar is spiffy
  • workspaces idea is neat – thanks, Lifehack! hmm….how might I make best use of workspaces for different areas of my life?


  • finding files in Google Drive integration is tough. My GD folder structure was collapsed, so all folders were listed. I was not able to dig into the nested sub-folders.
  • couldn’t figure out how to add a “New Section” to a project on the mobile app. While watching this video, I learned that I might be able to create a new section by including a colon after the word. Will keep this in mind to try the next time I need to do this.
  • desktop: not sure how to see subtasks. There is a small gray arrow which is tough to see as the color is so light. Would imagine this would be hard to see to folks with low-vision.
  • doesn’t seem to offer a gantt chart view. I find this helpful to see where tasks/subtasks pile up, and if I’m trying to pile too much into a week
  • not able to start the week on Monday



  • can set the calendar to start on Mondays
  • gantt chart view


  • mobile app: tough to figure out working with tasks and subtasks
  • entries didn’t save -sometimes I needed to use the enter button. Seems that the UI is consistent
  • midway through the month, I was no longer able to create subtasks with a free account

Active Citizen course: recap

Notes from the Active Citizen course


Three spheres of democracy

Political sphere
  • encompasses government, elections, and participation in political life
  • political involvement is public information
  • political life is a combination of voluntary and required actions
  • buying things
  • investments
  • marketplace participation is unavoidable: marketplace activism (ie, boycotting companies) is voluntary and mostly private
Civil society
  • nonprofit organizations, sports clubs, neighborhood groups, protest organizations, & community, trade, or professional associations
  • civil society participation is private information

Why digital matters

  1. nature of digital data
    • two copies of it
    • non-rival and non-excludable good: many people can use an item at the same time AND it’s hard to restrict access to that item
  2. nature of the network
    • quantity of information that can be stored (infrastructure)
    • involvement of third parties
    • see for more info
    • civil society needs to function as an independent space, separate from markets and from government
    • where we are now: digital infrastructure built by private companies and controlled by government

Digital political engagement

  • TurboVote: online voter registration
  • MapLight: track donations to political campaigns
  • find like-minded folks to connect on various social issues
  • publishes and shares materials in the public domain in the US and around the world
  • OSET Foundation: open source election technology
  • signing petitions
  • using hashtags
  • online tools used for offline organizing
  • positive: helps groups to grow in size and gain momentum faster than not using digital tools; negative: alerts adversaries to your actions

One of my favorite videos from the course:


OER Hub Researcher Pack: reading notes




I recently finished reading the OER Hub Researcher Pack, written by the @OER_Hub team, and wanted to capture some notes and citations for future work.



  • focus on tools that researchers can use
  • adapt tools for our needs and share them back with the community
  • love that this book can be downloaded as a zip file!


Data (quant)

  • conduct your analysis and publish your work prior to releasing data with CC license
  • data is a publication!
  • how do you plan to anonymize it? use metadata in such a way that data set is useful to others and can be built upon for additional research?

Survey questions

  • OER hub released a set of 54 core survey questions that align with 11 hypotheses of research project
  • question bank is reusable and remixable
  • follow good practices for survey and research design

Interview questions

Evaluation framework

  • serves as a means to check on project while it’s in progress and to see if it accomplished what researcher intended it to do
  • build evaluation in from the onset
  • see example from OER Hub


Further reading

Digital scholar: Week 1 compliation

The Digital Scholar

I’m slowly working my way through the Digital Scholar course offered through the Open University.

One of the activities asked us to think about how digital, networked, and open technology has influenced one area of my practice, either in a small or large way.

On a micro level, watching and reading what others are doing has been my entry point into then taking the next step of reaching out to others, communicating, and interacting. I have met higher ed scholars and practitioners with similar interests online, and while I was not far enough along yet in my grad program to be able to have a solid research direction, at a minimum I now know how to connect with scholars who share my interests. From there, I can take the next step of building my networks and figuring out interesting ways to talk about my interests, research projects, etc.

Boyer’s (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered framework


I envision that researchers, members of the community/public, students, and others who have a stake in what universities create, will all be a part of figuring out how to share new knowledge in a digital format. Maybe that means using visual or interpretive forms. A clinical trial reimagined as a novel, or a play, for example. And yes, the components that are essential to include for peer-reviewed journal articles such as methods, might fade away in light of the results section. Or perhaps the research process is part of the new story. I think what this will come down to is creative ways to share research outputs.


How do we work together across disciplines on problems? This seems to be the driving question behind this section. Seems that writing on the open web about your work, and hoping that someone comes across it is a first step. Then how to actually connect with others? Say for example, if I am interested in studying how gender impacts the edtech tools and programs currently in use, how would I go about connecting with programmers, usability folks, etc who would be interested in such a project? I will need to put more thought into this.


Thinking about how this might look differently…and how faculty members – maybe grad students too? – might talk about this. It seems like there’s still a shroud of secrecy over what goes on in higher ed. Maybe faculty and grad students could find ways to talk about their service projects. is it enough to write about it on a blog? I have a feeling that a short post about spending 2 hours reviewing manuscripts may not be tremendously compelling reading, but maybe that’s part of the problem. Should we talk about it in ways that are accessible to our parents? Our siblings? Neighbors?


Recognize the value and importance. I am not close enough to the teaching side to know how much, if any, the T&P process may be changing to value teaching at a higher priority. And in some cases, should it? Some schools have separate categories for teaching-focused positions and research-focused positions. This seems like it may be a way to recognize that not all faculty are equally interested in teaching and research, and place equal value on both areas.

Podcast resurgence?


As with many folks around the U.S. it seems, I have been slowly listening to podcasts with greater frequency. I was looking through some of the podcasters that I follow to share for Thing 14, and came across this wonky episode from Fresh Air: the mashup of Downton Abbey and Walking Dead initially drew me in as it seemed like such a random combination.

One of the things that I love about WordPress is how easy it is to insert images, videos, and audio clips from the web. No need to mess with the text editor to copy and paste the embed code from various sites. 🙂

Thing 13: web-based video platforms

... So Little Time (or) Radio video foto Janssen (Explored)

I’m exploring the accessibility, licensing, and features of the Vimeo platform. To do that, I looked through several of the videos in my liked and watch later categories. It was fun to re-watch these FemTechNet dialogue videos:

I am not sure what type of license this video holds. It doesn’t seem to explicitly state if this video can be reused. There is a clear link to a script, but that was included by those who uploaded the video. I also don’t see a closed caption button to toggle the captions on/off. This seems odd as captions are a basic accessibility requirement for video. When I went to Vimeo’s Help Center, it showed that captions could be uploaded. Only when they are uploaded with the cc button appear. I’m not sure if this is better or worse than YouTube’s auto-captions which are notorious for their inaccuracy.